Category Archives: Press Releases

Press Releases

Cyclist.ie backs Sugar Tax

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network backs support by Dr Donal O Shea for the introduction of a Sugar Tax

In response to a claim by the Irish Beverage Council (IBC) that ‘a sugar tax would not work’, Dr Donal O Shea, Ireland’s leading expert in the field of obesity, has come out strongly against IBC’s claims, but also stressing (as reported in today’s Irish Times) that there are multiple ‘separate drivers of obesity, and no single measure will be effective on its own’.

Cyclist.ie, and its European partner, the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) have long stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach to the issue of growing obesity levels in Irish society. One significant, and internationally recognised, approach to support the introduction of a Sugar Tax, is to actively plan for greater levels of physical activity. Ireland’s National Physical Activity Plan launched late last year emphasises the urgency of this task, as only 1 in 4 of 9year olds are meeting the required daily activity recommended. This is a health time bomb coming down the tracks!

Everyday cycling and walking has a vital part to play in pushing up levels of physical activity, and yet the recent decision by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reduce funding levels for major cycling projects in the Dublin region, is a negative statement by a state body, that flies in the face of the recommendations of the adopted National Physical Activity Plan. This NTA decision will set back cycling projects, and thus increased take-up of physical activity by individuals, due to the poor quality of present cycling infrastructure. It is a short term decision that will have immediate long term negative effects!

Cyclist.ie supports the call by Dr Donal O Shea for the introduction of a Sugar Tax, and for the funding and implementation of a range of measures to encourage active travel. The healthy future of Irish society is at stake.

 

Love 30 Campaign

The Love 30 Campaign favours a default speed limit of 30 km/h in urban areas, in residential estates, and in all areas of high pedestrian and cycle use. This includes residential streets and estates as well as the centres of cities, towns and villages and the areas surrounding schools. We believe there is a need for a paradigm shift in how road authorities manage traffic to enable pedestrians to use our roads and streets safely, to cater for the safety of the 8-80 age cohort while cycling and to allow our children to play outdoors and to walk to school, shops and friends & family. There is a need to protect the next generations, by ensuring that drivers understand their responsibilities fully, and that Councils put in place necessary speed limits to slow traffic. Road traffic planning and provision for many years has been for the benefit of the private motorist to the detriment of other road users including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users, older and very young people and those with disabilities.

Full document

Link to Love30 on this site: see Organisations / Collaborative

Jake’s Legacy vigil

Cyclist.ie – The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network – strongly endorses Roseanne Brennan (Jake’s Legacy campaign) to force road authorities to introduce lower speed limits in residential areas and estates.

We want to see a quantum increase in the use of the bike for commuting to study, work and for utility purposes, recognising that a ‘critical mass’ of cyclists in traffic leads inevitably to safer streets. Safer streets for cyclists are also safer streets for pedestrians.
The urban default speed limit of 50 km/h means that any vehicle going at this speed has far too much kinetic energy so that a pedestrian or cyclist impacted by a car driven at this speed will have only a 50% chance of surviving the collision (see Road Safety Authority chart below).

Cyclist.ie remains far from impressed with the data revealed by the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) annual free-speed surveys which show typically that some drivers actually exceed the 50 km/h speed limit with fully 9% detected breaking that limit in urban areas in 20111. We are disappointed that no data is available for each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

We campaign for 30 km/h to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets and in all areas of high pedestrian and cycle use. It is enabled by existing traffic law, so road authorities have no excuse for not implementing the reduction.

We accept that on some streets it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road characteristics – good provision for vulnerable road users and risk assessment by use of road safety audits, etc. Retaining any limit above 30 km/h in residential areas and at the approaches to schools should be a considered and formal decision based on local circumstances.

We believe there is a need for a paradigm shift in how road authorities manage traffic, and plan urban change, so as to enable pedestrians to use our roads and streets safely and to cater for the safety of the 8-80 age cohort while cycling. This is directly in line with the latest Departmental guidelines as outlined in the Design Manual for Urban Roads & Streets (DMURS,2013), and will also encourage an increase in active travel by foot and on bikes. Road traffic planning and provision in recent years has been for the benefit of the private motorist to the detriment of other road users such as public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition to improving safety, lower speed limits in residential estates would encourage young people to move about independently and would encourage parents to permit their children to do so. This would have consequential benefits for their fitness and general health and would contribute to combating the rising levels of obesity in our society. The improved safety and perception of safety, provided by lower speed limits would transform residential estates into more vibrant living spaces, with consequential benefits for the quality of life of residents and visitors.

We recognise that reduction of the speed limit alone will not be successful in reducing speed and improving safety unless it is accompanied by improved Garda detection and enforcement and appropriate road design. We support the recommendations of DMURS, the official guidance policy for local authorities in relation to street design, that insofar as possible lower speed limits should be accompanied by psychological and physical measures to encourage observance.

Throughout Europe, 30 km/h is fast becoming the default urban speed limit. In some cities, speed limits as low as 10 km/h are in place in ‘home zones’. Even in the United States, where the car is king, 25 mph (40 km/h) limits are common in urban areas and 15 mph (24 km/h) limits are rigorously enforced at schools. In an effort to curb traffic fatalities, New York City lowered its default speed limit to 25 mph (40 km/h) from the 7th November 2014.

In the UK the “20’s Plenty” Campaign has been successful in securing reduced speed limits in many urban locations and has produced a Briefings page  with many documents showing the benefits of 20 mph (30 km/h) limits.

Lower speeds result in less noise and pollution and greater fuel efficiency (high fuel consumption is associated with stop-start traffic, not slow traffic). On residential roads and shopping streets, people simply don’t want to be exposed to the noise, fumes and dangers from higher speed traffic.

The Minister for Transport called on road authorities to review their urban speed limits in a Directive issued on 15 October last

Jake’s Legacy vigil

Cyclist.ie – The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network – strongly endorses Roseanne Brennan (Jake’s Legacy campaign) to force road authorities to introduce lower speed limits in residential areas and estates.

We want to see a quantum increase in the use of the bike for commuting to study, work and for utility purposes, recognising that a ‘critical mass’ of cyclists in traffic leads inevitably to safer streets. Safer streets for cyclists are also safer streets for pedestrians.

The urban default speed limit of 50 km/h means that any vehicle going at this speed has far too much kinetic energy so that a pedestrian or cyclist impacted by a car driven at this speed will have only a 50% chance of surviving the collision (see Road Safety Authority chart below).

Cyclist.ie remains far from impressed with the data revealed by the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) annual free-speed surveys which show typically that some drivers actually exceed the 50 km/h speed limit with fully 9% detected breaking that limit in urban areas in 20111. We are disappointed that no data is available for each of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

We campaign for 30 km/h to become the default speed limit on residential and urban streets and in all areas of high pedestrian and cycle use. It is enabled by existing traffic law, so road authorities have no excuse for not implementing the reduction.

We accept that on some streets it may be appropriate to have a higher limit based on the road characteristics – good provision for vulnerable road users and risk assessment by use of road safety audits, etc. Retaining any limit above 30 km/h in residential areas and at the approaches to schools should be a considered and formal decision based on local circumstances.

We believe there is a need for a paradigm shift in how road authorities manage traffic, and plan urban change, so as to enable pedestrians to use our roads and streets safely and to cater for the safety of the 8-80 age cohort while cycling. This is directly in line with the latest Departmental guidelines as outlined in the Design Manual for Urban Roads & Streets (DMURS,2013), and will also encourage an increase in active travel by foot and on bikes. Road traffic planning and provision in recent years has been for the benefit of the private motorist to the detriment of other road users such as public transport, pedestrians and cyclists

In addition to improving safety, lower speed limits in residential estates would encourage young people to move about independently and would encourage parents to permit their children to do so. This would have consequential benefits for their fitness and general health and would contribute to combating the rising levels of obesity in our society. The improved safety and perception of safety, provided by lower speed limits would transform residential estates into more vibrant living spaces, with consequential benefits for the quality of life of residents and visitors.

We recognise that reduction of the speed limit alone will not be successful in reducing speed and improving safety unless it is accompanied by improved Garda detection and enforcement and appropriate road design. We support the recommendations of DMURS, the official guidance policy for local authorities in relation to street design, that insofar as possible lower speed limits should be accompanied by psychological and physical measures to encourage observance.

Throughout Europe, 30 km/h is fast becoming the default urban speed limit. In some cities, speed limits as low as 10 km/h are in place in ‘home zones’. Even in the United States, where the car is king, 25 mph (40 km/h) limits are common in urban areas and 15 mph (24 km/h) limits are rigorously enforced at schools. In an effort to curb traffic fatalities, New York City lowered its default speed limit to 25 mph (40 km/h) from the 7th November 2014.

In the UK the “20’s Plenty” Campaign has been successful in securing reduced speed limits in many urban locations and has produced a Briefings page with many documents showing the benefits of 20 mph (30 km/h) limits.

Lower speeds result in less noise and pollution and greater fuel efficiency (high fuel consumption is associated with stop-start traffic, not slow traffic). On residential roads and shopping streets, people simply don’t want to be exposed to the noise, fumes and dangers from higher speed traffic.

The Minister for Transport called on road authorities to review their urban speed limits in a Directive issued on 15 October last

DCC welcomes new contra-flow bus/cycle lane on Camden St – Richmond St corridor

On Wed 14th January at 11:00 h, Dublin City Council will open a new contra-flow bus/cycle lane on Camden Street Upper – Richmond Street, which will run past the ‘Bleeding Horse’ pub (i.e. south towards Rathmines).

Dublin Cycling Campaign has been working hard behind the scenes for many years to persuade Dublin City Council to provide a southbound contra-flow cycling facility on this corridor. The new traffic management arrangement also comes into being in the context of the Luas Cross City works on Dawson Street and, Suffolk Street. Dublin Cycling Campaign sits on the City’s ‘Cycle Forum’, where projects like this get progressed.

The now-soon-to-be-reconfigured “Bleeding Horse gyratory” was voted (among members) as one of Dublin’s 10 worst junctions in Dublin Cycling Campaign’s survey in recent years. The new contra-flow bus/cycle lane enables cyclists, heading south towards Rathmines, to avoid taking the annoying and very cycling-unfriendly and unsafe detour around by the Odeon pub and back onto Harcourt Road; instead they can now travel outbound directly (and legally) past the ‘Bleeding Horse’ pub towards Rathmines bridge. This represents important progress in making Dublin more cycle-able.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICE

The conversion of cyclist-unfriendly, multi-lane one-way streets and gyratories to streets with contra-flow cycling facilities and cycling friendly junctions is one policy objective of the National Cycle Policy Framework, the government’s overarching plan to increase the modal share for everyday cycling from its current national figure of approx 2% to 10% (which essentially means bringing the modal share of cycling in Dublin City from approx. 8% to 20-25% of trips). The provision of high quality contra-flow facilities for cyclists – and exemptions for cyclists on one-way streets with safer 30km/h speed limits – is also recognized internationally as a key intervention in making streets more attractive for urban cyclists.

However … while Dublin Cycling Campaign broadly welcomes the new traffic arrangements, we also think that the City Council did not go far enough in terms of providing for cyclists: the street network is still remarkably impermeable for cycling. For example, for cyclists traveling along the South Circular Road (Harrington Street section) towards Camden Street, they will still be required to turn left towards the city centre; the new traffic management arrangements:

  • do not enable cyclists to turn right onto the new contra-flow bus/cycle lane so as to continue southwards to Rathmines
  • do nothing to enable cyclists to continue directly onto Harcourt Road (so as to be able to turn right towards Ranelagh); Harcourt Road will remain as a one-way street.

Furthermore, Dublin Cycling Campaign has some concern about mixing so many buses with so many bikes on the corridor: it is essential that the drivers of the buses pay special attention to cyclists on this route – and, of course, essential that cyclists ride assertively and sensibly (by, for example, adopting the control road position while using the contra-flow lane). Overall though, we are optimistic that after everyone gets used to the new road layout, the new direct route out of town will improve life for those cycling in the city.

Finally, Dublin Cycling Campaign welcomes the provision of additional cycle parking along the newly configured route and a new special ‘right turn pocket’ to enable dublinbikes users to turn right onto Grantham Street to their docking station.

Call for co-ordinated plan to combat soaring bike theft

Photocall Invitation

Bicycle theft in Ireland has doubled in Ireland since the introduction of the Bike to Work scheme in 2009. Almost 4,500 bicycle thefts[1] were reported in Dublin in 2013, but the actual number of bike thefts is likely to be in the region of 20,000 in 2013 according to Irish household surveys[2] and international experience[3,4]. The chances of a bike thief being caught is low, with a conviction rate of only 2%[5] or reported thefts. Approximately 230,000 bicycles are imported into Ireland each year[6]. “Bike theft is a low-risk, high-reward crime. If cars were being stolen at this rate there would be uproar.” Says Keith Byrne, Chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign. Continue reading Call for co-ordinated plan to combat soaring bike theft

New European Commission should maximise growth and jobs by investing in cycling

Today the European Parliament has approved the new European Commission. ECF is particularly looking forward to working with Ms. Violeta Bulc, the new Commissioner for Transport. During her hearing in front of the European Parliament, Ms. Bulc stated that she loves nature and that she supports the polluter-pay and user-pay principles.

The European Cyclists’ Federation expects that the Slovenian Commissioner will soon present her vision on cycling as a means of transportation. Our organisation has also requested a personal meeting with the former Slovenian minister who will be in charge of transport in the EU for the next five years. Read article

Cycling Campaigners Launch Promotional Videos

As part of hosting the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) annual delegate conference, the largest gathering of cycling experts and advocates from around Europe in 2014, the Dublin Cycling Campaign, in partnership with Dublin City Council, has launched a series of cycling promotional videos.  The Dublin City Manager, Mr. Owen Keegan, launched the videos at a reception at the Wood Quay Venue at the Civic Offices in Dublin at 18:30 h.

A series of five promotional videos have been produced to promote everyday cycling as a normal way of life in our city. See example: http://www.dublincycling.ie/videos/dublin-cycling-stories-paul Continue reading Cycling Campaigners Launch Promotional Videos

Irish Cycling Campaigners Host Major European Cycling Advocacy Event ‘IRELAND IS OPEN FOR CYCLING’

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, is hosting the European Cyclists’ Federation’s annual delegate conference in Dublin in the Wood Quay Venue of Dublin City Council where they will entertain
over seventy European cycling campaigners from twenty different countries, representing 50 million everyday cyclists across Europe.

This is the largest gathering of everyday cycling planning and advocacy experts in the Northern Hemisphere in 2014. During the course of the Dublin AGM, delegates will share expertise and ideas on how to recreate strong cycling cultures throughout Europe.

Continue reading Irish Cycling Campaigners Host Major European Cycling Advocacy Event ‘IRELAND IS OPEN FOR CYCLING’

Campaigners call for Cycling Projects to Shift up a Gear

Thu 24 April 2014 Dublin, Ireland – Seminar for Local Authorities about Cycling Promotion at Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices, Dublin 8 at 13:30 h.

As part of hosting the European Cyclists’ Federation annual delegate conference, the largest gathering of cycling experts and advocates from around Europe in 2014, the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport and Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, are hosting a seminar on the theme of ‘Funding and Justifying Cycling Projects’, at Wood Quay Venue, Civic Offices in Dublin Continue reading Campaigners call for Cycling Projects to Shift up a Gear